Periodicity of fire disturbance is a known driver of ecosystem function and is reported as important in both promoting and maintaining viable breeding habitat for the endangered Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow (Ammospiza maritima mirabilis; CSSS). In south Florida, the CSSS serves as a fine-scale indicator of the marl and mixed-marl prairie communities of the Florida Everglades. The CSSS distribution is affected by numerous well-documented physical drivers, including water depth and fire regime. Here, we fit zero-inflated negative binomial generalized linear mixed models and used model selection to determine the relationship between CSSS bird count observations from 1992 to 2014 and the spatially-specific fire return interval on the landscape. CSSS bird count was highest at a 5–8-year fire return interval and increased linearly with the percent of cell burned (400 × 400 m cells). The results of this study can inform management plans designed to maintain existing, and promote new, marl prairie habitat for conservation of the CSSS.
|Title||Fire disturbance influences endangered Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow (Ammopiza maritima mirabilis) relative bird count|
|Authors||Allison Benscoter, James Beerens, Leonard G. Pearlstine, Stephanie Romanach|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Conservation Science and Practice|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Wetland and Aquatic Research Center|